Self help is about finding wholeness on your terms. It’s an important part of any life as we each explore answers to our day to day challenges. Self-help, in theory, means becoming your own healer. In practice, help isn’t only healing: help includes finding assistance and learning how to be in control of your life.
There is more to self help than you might expect!
Healing with Self Help
Understand healing isn’t treatment! Treatment is just a tool for healing.
Healing is the process of becoming whole.
Modern culture has confused healing to only be about treatments.
Self help is incredibly important today because we all too often get lost in the numbers. As the health industry gets more disconnected and pushes people into being numbers, we have to take the time to be our own advocate. The health industry is acceptable when dealing with everyday problems but sucks at helping those who fall outside normal problems. Once you are outside the standard problems, the modern health industry doesn’t know how to deal with you with grace. Sadly people often get hurt by the health industry because they get thrown into the wrong box, the wrong category of illness and then receive the wrong treatment.
It’s truly critical and important to keep track of your baseline and health status. You have to protect yourself. I remember going to a doctor to get a wart removed from my nose only for him to take a different bump off and he missed doing the wart altogether.
So self-help is good, right? Well, you have to remember we can be blind to our problems and can have biases that cause us to place ourselves in the wrong category of a challenge to be also solved.
We need a balance in working with self help. We need both to be able to help ourselves and use appropriate expert assistance.
Self Help Through Acceptance.
Let’s talk about acceptance. Since many self help healing courses teach acceptance: let’s focus directly on the acceptance part of the equation.
- The past is just, the past, long gone.
- The future is not here yet!
- Taoism teaches you are here now, firmly within the moment: dancing from moment to moment. By embracing the ride of now, a person quickly learns: to let go of false attachments to past pains, learns building a future is just a way of deceiving oneself away from now. In this process of embracing life now, a person can let go enough to have a chance to see themselves honestly in the now.
A strange thing happens at this point, a person discovers all the internal fractures once considered to be flaws and weaknesses: are beautiful! That in the light of living now, all aspects of our life makes us what we are and that is wonderful. That what we thought needed healing actually can give us an edge to grow against in a patient manner.
That in living now, all futures are possible: opening up new “Possibilities” of 10,000 dreams where each one is valid. It’s fun to play about, to flow as life weaves together into something unexpected because it’s always possible to accept who you are now.
- Is it an easy path to let go of the past?
No, since being able to remember the past always gives hindsight to avoid issues.
- Is it an easy path to stop holding onto the future?
No, since it’s by planning and slowly building a good plan, humans have built so many marvelous wonders.
- Is it easy to accept oneself? No, not when so much strength can be gained through our communities: and in turn, we are taught to base personal acceptance upon other viewpoints over our own values.
Initially, as a Taoist, you learn to let go of everything to see oneself clearly and to embrace oneself as is.
In time acceptance comes, at the point of relaxing into oneself.
Later in this process, a Taoist mixes all aspects of themselves, to truly live as oneself. We call this being fully human. In harmony with the past and future to now.
Living with a Taoist outlook doesn’t mean to stop being yourself.
- It only means to stop defining yourself to what you were.
- It simply means to stop defining yourself to what you might be.
- It just means to accept yourself now, within your terms.
To take all the whimsy, experiences and your nature to where ever it might lead.
One step at a time.
Having no illusions: since the dance of life comes both with hard days and more carefree times. The Taoist path takes it as it comes, One moment, one step, one breath at a time.
With this pace, you can find your self help healing path.
Challenges of Self Help
The challenge of self-help is sorting through the materials and resources around us. It isn’t easy to validate information and resources as we educate ourselves and work to solve our problems. Even worse the modern self help industry, based on mass market economics, can be deeply exploitative in fooling people for profit. Looking around you will find too many spiritual pyramid schemes. Also, many self-help routines are based on consumption of healing. Anything overly consumed will turn in on itself and go sour. So yes, it’s possible to overheal oneself also.
Accept the pacing to healing.
It isn’t something to force.
Another trap is that the self-help industry turns the innate desire to look inward to be outward. Using external tools makes your healing process to be about outside standards. When a person takes an outside baseline to be their baseline, it sets a person always to be broken. Many self-help routines cleverly rework enough concepts of “acceptance” into the practice to make them feel valid. If you accept a wrong baseline as your centering point, you will always be off center.
The other problem with self help, especially for those who help others, is it’s easy to get trapped into false preaching and vanity.
Any path that helps a person discover acceptance in life is a valid path. It’s just many of pre-packaged self help teachings are more about reinforcing society or the external process more than being about you. Life is wonderfully twisted enough as a puzzle without having to jump through other people’s ego trips.
Our Evolution in Self Help
Another interesting trap of self help is to give away our power. We will start with the intention to guide our process. Once we begin reading a self help book or resource, all of the sudden a person will often give all their power to that resource or book. For the average person, it’s easier to fit themselves into the self help book box and use it as an absolute road map rather than to hold strong to only use the resource as a guide for ideas.
So be careful.
Be your advocate, know your situation and then adapt what you find to help you grow gracefully with time. Don’t do the reverse and force yourself to fit the box within each book you read.
Power is to be able to define yourself.
Always remember your power when on the self help path.
Regaining Control of Our Life
The second part of self help is learning how to be in control of your own life.
Why Do People Go Out of Control?
The simple answer is: People try to fill their emptiness.
The answer isn’t complicated. Instead, complications arise from all the side effects of filling in the emptiness. Each difficulty is another step towards a life out of control. Consider the fact: Emptiness is a vacuum that drives people to fill it in: to prove they have worth.
Strangely even though emptiness will drive many people out of control, they won’t believe that emptiness is the core of the problem. Ironically often the symptoms of being out of control are exactly the opposite of feeling empty. The unconscious desire to want more covers up the more profound challenge of how to confront being empty.
Sometimes people will chase self help routines as a way to fill in the emptiness they feel in life.
Up front this leaves two answers, you either fill in the emptiness, or you learn to live with it. By default, humans fill the void with their lifestyle and relationships. Ironically if you learn how to work with the emptiness, it gives a person additional tools to go beyond imagination. Taoism teaches a person how to turn emptiness into a tool that improves life. This is the harder path. Since emptiness is a form of vacuum, it does suck in at everything around you; this is the root of the deep desire felt when trying to fit in, trying to exceed and trying to be more. By default human nature initially tackles emptiness through consumption.
Emptiness is a powerful experience. Unfortunately, emptiness drives many humans out of control into chaos and self destruction.
To be human includes the challenge of boring and feeling empty. To escape the mundane people tend to seek outside validation to prove themselves. Over time this will become a chase of ever greater validation to prove oneself against. This chase becomes a lifestyle about consumption. Once you consume something, you burn it out, are left with nothing. So, it leaves a person in a never-ending chase to prove themselves.
The chase to prove yourself often goes out of control. The process now leads a person into deeper traps of greed, excessive consumption, hoarding and raging into very destructive lifestyles: all to feel alive, to push oneself further, into living another day.
Reclaiming life is an exercise of how you fill in the emptiness you feel in any given moment.
I am here to teach you how to be alive, to push gracefully rather than being out of control, to start living constructively in your life.
Reclaiming Your Life
- Channeling your energy and effort in a manner that doesn’t burn out you or others.
- Re-channel the results back into activities that replenish what does get burned out.
- Lifestyle drives most of our actions so choose and shape your lifestyle carefully.
- Understanding both your nature and essence to work with yourself rather than against yourself.
- Balancing out your instincts and stories.
Let’s now review balancing your instincts and stories. You can contact me directly if you want to dive into the full process and start reclaiming life.
Healing the Inner Conflict of Instincts and Stories.
Self-help is more than just healing our body; it includes healing the spirit, and mind (our stories).
To be an Animal is to live against your instincts.
Instincts are fixed, using stories to extend instincts is a very powerful human tool. Stories allow a person to evolve in real time. Stories are flexible and will change over time. Stories permit a person to add in lessons learned as part of their reactions rather than just having fixed instincts. Instincts while powerful, still limit you to only react in the same manner over and over again to be exploited against.
My role as a teacher is to help you balance out the human and animal sides.
- If you are only human, you lose touch to powerful instincts which are fast and efficient.
- If you are only an animal you lose your stories which allow you to be adaptable and change the rules of the game.
Working Against Feeling Empty
Many humans in modern society are feeling disconnected and empty. This emptiness drives people to only react against the emptiness.
An animal lives only to instincts, hunting for their next set of needs. The attempt to drive away the emptiness with sex, food, entertainment or material goods is always fleeting. The emptiness drives a person’s instincts on a hunt for more. To only live to your animal side is to undercut your personal stories. Over time a person chasing only consumption will end up consuming everything in their life. This approach burns everything down, as a person can spiral out of control to discover divorce, destroyed friendships, families getting broken apart, being kicked out of a community and social circles.
Every human at their core is an animal. But that doesn’t mean to lose yourself to only being an animal either!
Society will pressure a human to rise above being an animal and only be a human. Or worse only to be a story handed to you as the only answer to how to live. This is because society requires you to be lost in your stories for it to even exist.
Society represents the merging interaction of human stories into a larger averaged out story.
Society encourages us always to be chasing our tails and think life is about grander achievements rather than the living itself. As we interact, as we share our stories about our tail chasing: we create society. We have reached the point where society now directs us, points us to chase our tails to keep it growing. So society creates rules, forces clothing upon us, civilizes us, requires you to dance thru hoops and hopes of ever more complicated stories all to keep the illusion of social truth moving along.
Modern Society always tries to hide your inner animal from you.
Only being human, is to get lost in our stories. At this point, it is all too easy to just become another ant in our society, another rat in the race to the top. So humans resist, they seek healing by helping their inner animal to break free again. In finding the inner wolf, a person activates those deeper instincts again, cut out of the restrictive social stories holding us back. You will then see people seeking their animal totems, calling up their animal spirits to reinforce their life. But you have to be careful since to transform into only an animal will make it easier for society to cage and trap you again.
The answer is to find a balance between our human and animal nature.
Self Help is Often Self Balancing
To get stuck in a single unchanging story will mean life becomes mundane. To only live to survive will take away joy from your life. We need both our human and animal aspects to blend. Too much of only one side: animal or human, creates an imbalance we often seek to correct with various self-help routines. For instance, some of our fears can come out from instincts which we would have to handle differently than fears which come out from our stories.
Finding wholeness and reclaiming your life is often about how a person regains control of their stories and comes to terms with their inner nature. It’s always important to balance your instincts (inner nature) and essence (story). Flowing in your stories with style is essential. Your instincts drive the baseline of your stories, but your style is what makes the stories your own. If you are stuck, I will help you start reclaiming your life and find a balance between your stories and instincts.